You already know the definition of confidence, right? Likewise, you know how confidence improves performance in sports and life. Additionally, you understand how confidence enhances life satisfaction and enjoyment.
Great, now that the basics are out of the way, let's get right into how to build confidence. These suggestions may sound weird. Nevertheless, the following strategies are powerful. And, what the heck, let's try something unique and new.
1. WTF – Sometimes, we just need to scrap the day and start over again. In golf, we call this a mulligan or a do-over. Perhaps, your day was shitty, or you achieved less than your best. Move on! When you head to bed, wipe the slate clean by telling yourself, "WTF… Tomorrow is a new day." By giving yourself permission to screw some shit up, you won't feel bad about yourself or decimate your confidence.
2. Brag Loudly – We are taught that bragging is only for the arrogant. Nonsense! When your confidence dips, brag to yourself about yourself. Talk loudly and proud about your positive qualities, attributes, and successes. Be like the annoying parent who talks incessantly about their child being the greatest. Make sure to LAY IT ON THICK!
3. Sweet Dreams – Have you ever thought about something or someone just before you dosed off and then dreamt about those thoughts? Since these thoughts are fresh in your mind, they often take hold as you drift into La-La Land. Likewise, you can boost confidence by thinking about 1-2 successes you achieved during the day while lying in bed. Before you overgeneralize and state, "Everything I touched turned to shit," accept the fact that you achieved some modicum of success. Even a small win is still a significant victory. Think about those personal successes and let your subconscious prepare you for a productive, successful tomorrow.
4. Hold a Mental Medal Ceremony – Remember when you were a kid, and you would pretend to win the World Series or Olympic Gold Medal? You could vividly see the experience of being awarded a trophy or medal, making you feel un-freaking-stoppable. Well, start throwing yourself locker room celebrations [minus the locker room] for your accomplishments. If needed, add in the champagne. YOU DESERVE IT! Confidence grows when you acknowledge success. When you get into the habit of giving yourself credit for your successes, you will notice other achievements that you may typically have glossed over.
5. Drop the Baggage – Packing for a trip is miserable but not as miserable as lugging your overstuffed suitcase to the airport. After you check in your luggage, you feel relieved. Many of us cram our failures, screwups, and mistakes into our mental suitcases and carry that shit around wherever we go. No wonder why our confidence bottoms out. Lighten your load! Throw out the memories of getting a C+ on your biology test, being rejected for the job you thought was perfect for you or dropping your phone in the toilet. Stop carrying that shit around (pun intended). Start making a CONSCIOUS effort to fill your mind with self-awesomeness.
6. Don't Drink the Poison – Some people in our lives are poisonous. They tell you how you will never amount to anything, that you are not as gifted as someone else, or that you could have done better. Even though they put that opinionated arsenic cocktail in front of you, you don't have to drink it or buy into it. Let those miserable people be miserable. Instead, surround yourself with positive, supportive people who fill you with healthy feedback and compliments.
7. Stop Listening to Your Inner Naysayer – Not everything spoken or written is true. Take, for example, every tabloid story ever written. Likewise, not everything we tell or believe about ourselves is a fact. To quiet your inner naysayer, try the F.U.N. strategy. When your inner naysayer starts spreading self-disinformation, say "FUN" or "F.U. Naysayer!" This form of thought-stopping helps you quiet your negative self-statements or challenge that "fake news.".
8. One Small Step for Man – No matter your circumstances, push forward. Just one step forward is progress. Positive action breeds confidence. After you take that step forward, acknowledge your progress, then repeat. Keep the "progress ball" rolling forward.
9. Daydream, Don't Nightmare – Images profoundly impact confidence. Many of us catastrophize or see ourselves screwing up. Turn the channel and start noticing your progress, accomplishments, growth, and positive qualities.
10. Get in Touch with Your Inner DEVO – In 1980, Devo released the classic hit "Whip It." The lyrics contain the one-liner, "When a problem comes along, you must whip it." Adopt the "whip it"mindset t and attack your problems instead of waiting for them to defeat you. Proactively looking for solutions is empowering and breeds confidence. If you need additional motivation, listen further to the lyrics and follow Devo's advice, "It's not too late. To whip it, Whip it good."
Here's a word of caution… Nothing will change if you don't consciously try to build your confidence. If you keep shitting on yourself, you will always get shitty results.
In truth, you are bursting with potential. You are powerful. You are a warrior, and you deserve the best. Try nurturing yourself to be the best you can be.